There are three local sites that we tend to associate with our Strathroy – Caradoc veterans; the cenotaph in the downtown core, the Legion Hall, and the cemetery where a few are buried. On the front face of the cenotaph there are 53 names engraved of veterans of World War I. On the side face of the cenotaph, there are 17 names engraved of veterans of World War II. Many of these men and woman are buried elsewhere in Canada or overseas, and some have their names inscribed on monuments overseas. For some their actual burial site is unknown.
It is the intent of the Strathroy – Caradoc Lions, in co-operation with Branch #116 Arthur Currie Legion, the I.O.D.E. Mary Armstrong Chapter Strathroy, and the Municipality of Strathroy – Caradoc to create a “Veterans Memorial Way”.
We are co-operatively planning a project which will connect the central cenotaph area, past the Legion Hall site, to the Strathroy cemetery. This route will be our Strathroy – Caradoc “Veterans Memorial Way”.
There are four (4) main parts to this project:
1) The installation of metal ‘banner murals” with full colour images on utility poles between the cenotaph and the Legion Hall, and eventually to the cemetery.
2) The reconstruction of the wall along the cenotaph sidewalk.
3) The installation of stainless steel, engraved plaques on the top, angled surface of the new wall, with laser cut engravings of each veteran’s name(s), the name of the battalion or fighting group he was in when he died, and the crest / badge / emblem of that battalion. There will be a separate plaque for each battalion. There were only a few veterans who were in the same battalion when they died.
4) A recognition display inside the foyer of the library / museum with the names of sponsors of the project. This would be similar to, and be located beside, the recognition display regarding the Currie Monument project.
5) An additional aspect of the project will be the development of an electronic information source to be used for educational purposes. The Strathroy – Caradoc Museum has a “Virtual War Memorial” on its website. Here can be found brief biographies for each of the veterans named on the Strathroy and Mount Brydges cenotaphs.
It is the intent of the Strathroy – Caradoc Lions to provide supplemental information about each of the veterans named on the Strathroy cenotaph, about the battalions they were enlisted in when they served, and about events prior to, during and after World Wars I and II that are useful to an understanding of why our citizens ‘went off to war’ and what happened to them when they were there. In some cases we have discovered detailed historic records that describe events during specific battles where our veteran(s) were killed. We now have access to battle plans maps, battalions historians’ reports, and in some cases military records of individual veterans. This information will provide a more detailed “picture” of life on the lines for those of us who have come after them, and reinforce in a strong, emotional manner the commitment and sacrifice of these men and women.
There will also be an electronic site where local citizens can share their stories. There will be a web page where local citizens can tell the stories of their family members who were veterans, but who are not on the local cenotaphs. This may because their family predecessor lived elsewhere than the Strathroy area, or served in a different armed force, or for a different country.
There will also be a web page for anecdotal stories that have been passed down through families about “life during war time”. These stories will be told by local citizens, but about a previous time, maybe in a different place (Canada, Britain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Austria – Hungary, Africa, anywhere where life was affected by the war(s).
This electronic source on this website is a long term work in progress. The webmaster would appreciate any documentary information you may have to make this source more complete and as accurate as possible. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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